On March 12, 2011, 24-year old student Amram Hussain was invited to speak to the world leaders gathered for the 16th Human Rights Council of the United Nations General Assembly, the most prestigious and powerful international body for the supposed promotion of human rights in the world.
As the ambassador of the European Union of Jewish Students, Mr. Hussain gave a powerful and impassioned speech against the constant attacks of the Human Rights Council toward the State of Israel.
The remarks aren’t surprising coming from this organization. The European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) is an umbrella organization for 34 national Jewish student unions in Europe, representing over 200,000 Jewish students.
Why this was so significant, however, is the fact that Mr. Hussain isn’t even Jewish. In fact, he was born, raised and identifies himself …
… as a Muslim!
Here in its entirety, is one of the most powerful speeches in support of Israel ever uttered in the United Nations building in New York:
Thank you very much Mr. President.
I’m proud to be speaking today as the Ambassador of the Ruropean Union of Jewish Students, an umbrella organization representing over two hundred thousand students.
I stand before this Council as a Muslim, not to further demonize the nation of Israel but to remind you of the moral obligation we all have here today to protect the only country in the world whose very existence is constantly under attack.
I come here today to ask questions: why is Israel consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation on the grounds of human rights violations yet the world turns a blind eye to the human rights situations within the rest of the Arab countries or some of the nations from the Far East or Northern Africa.
The world was very quick to condemn Israel for defending itself from Hamas’ unrelenting rockets and mortar attacks from Gaza. I ask you what about the human rights of Israeli Jews, Israeli Muslims, Israeli Christians, living constantly in fear of attacks from Hamas. Are their human rights not as important as the rest of the international community?
EUJS as a youth movement believes in tolerance and campaigns heavily on non-discrimination of all. We have taken a number of actions to fight Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism.
It is however a fact of history and it is a fact of our nature that we can choose to be between good and evil. And let us not forget that even now there are those who will choose evil and would launch another Holocaust if left unchecked.
People like Ahmadinejad should not be encouraged by the Human Rights Council but halted from his anti-Israel agenda.
As a consequence of decisions being made at this Council, Anti-Semitism has regained a place at our universities, where at times it is not the mob who are removed but the Jewish students under attack and under the shadow of a hateful ideology with global ambitions – one which targets the Jewish homeland as a scapegoat.
Of course, like any country Israel should be subjected to fair criticism and and like any free country Israel subjects itself to such criticism. However when there are members of the international community present here today that do not even accept the existence of Israel, how will such a nation ever be subjected to fair criticism.
Finally, Mister President, I request the international community gathered here today to take on their solemn duty to protect and promote human dignity at home and abroad by defending the vulnerable and by challenging the aggressors.
I was honored to have been the representative of the European Union of Hewish Students at the Sixteenth Session of the Human Rights Council. As a person of all faiths and strongly embedded in all three Abrahamic religions, I was proud to be a Jewish voice at this Council. I am an active member of my university’s Jewish society and the British Union of Jewish Students. It was therefore a privilege to take part in the student movement at an international level.
I am an active campaigner for human rights and justice all over the world. However, I have always remained disheartened by the disproportionate and unfair focus of the Human Rights Council on Israel, the disregard to the rights to human dignity for Israelis and the ignorance showed to some of the worst human rights violators around the world.
I have spoken where I can via the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service and various other NGO’s and civil societies criticizing the Council for acting according to political considerations as opposed to human rights.
However, I have never been more concerned of the consequences of the Human Rights Council’s resolutions against Israel. As a result, we now see Anti-Semitism having a stronger voice at our universities.
It is for this reason i felt my voice was strongest represented from the largest Jewish student voice at the Human Rights Council. The EUJS campaigns for the non-discrimination of all and has lead the European student voice with its constituent members in addressing not only Jewish issues but issues affecting humanity as a whole.
Although I claim Judaism, Christianity and Islam as all my religions, I have been nutured as a Muslim all my life. It was therefore an opportunity for me to support the EUJS’ progressive agenda in interfaith collaboration and strengthen its voice at this Council.
It was difficult to face such a biased audience at the Council. However I remain proud that I have joined your movement in protecting and promoting human dignity for the citizens of the nation whose very existence is persistently under attack.
Thank you very much. May the peace and blessings of God be with us all.
What a brave young man, and how disheartening it was to hear that in the 2015 British general election, when he ran as a Labour party candidate in North East Hampshire, that clearly some political enemies of Israel plotted against his campaign to ensure he didn’t get elected.
I really do hope that he will not give up on politics – it needs voices like his more than ever.